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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Apr 22, 2014 7:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Old Question: When Did You Know?

Hmmm. What qualifies as "on the bus" or "knowing"? Let's see ... was there a "Come to Jerry" moment ... and is there any other band of which that kind of question could be asked? Do Floyd or LZ fans think there was a "moment they knew?" I guess the records are enough for most bands, whereas with the Dead, the records are different than the shows, shows are different from each other, and then there's the old "set and setting."

Anyway, as I've said before, I saw a series of shows in '78 very shortly after first hearing about the band at all. From records and tapes in dorm rooms, my basic impression was "yeah, I see why you like this band. They seem really good." But I didn't distinguish them from other good bands. There was a lot I "got" from being at the shows that I hadn't "got" from records and tapes, and I was more "on the bus" after than before, certainly. I did put the Dead in a different category than, say, Springsteen, who I saw a few days after my first Dead shows (since apparently I really didn't prioritize studying.) Which was also a great show, but the Dead seemed like a world apart. It was like discovering a secret universe.

Still, I'd have to say it was kind of a process of hearing the music in lots of circumstances over the next year or so, by which I mean stuff on albums and on tapes -- not necessarily show tapes, but also album tapes carried to parks and so on -- since a lot of my early experiences with the music combines it with particular set and settings. I honestly didn't make or perceive much difference between hearing StSt/TOO/MoM/etc on albums and what we were hearing on newer albums or show tapes, though, which now seems pretty clueless, but I didn't. I worried that the band might go in the wrong direction (Disco Dead, aaaak!) and of course recognized that the older stuff was older and just part of a wider repertoire. But I saw it as all part of a continuum.

By the NEXT time the band came around, I'd pretty much cemented my ticket, I guess. And by then I actually recognized the songs :-)






This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2014-04-23 02:55:27

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 24, 2014 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Old Question: When Did You Know?

Yes, I have to comment on your "clueless" description while hearing songs...I seem so much more knowledgeable "now", though everyone else (family/friends) would've said I was back then, too, right? At the time, I could hardly tell the instruments (who was playing which) apart, and I actually worked as a roadie for a DEAD cover band. I am much more musically astute now, and in part, this biased me against them "changing" because I could recognize any song off S&R, but not anything "new" (classic AUD response of "oh, yeah, WE know this one!!", etc.). Nor could I really appreciate what they did as "better" (ie, if Jerry was better, why didn't he seem more lively or some such silliness on my part). I was rather naïve, and full of pre-conceived notions...

However, what fueled my "hmmm, why isn't this as GREAT as I was expecting?" had more to do w an overall sound, which nowadays when I listen to it, is still "lacking"...the 70s DPs that everyone mentions as sounding flat, or hollow, without much punch...other than the 75 Fall show at GGPk, which had real energy, that was what I thought was often missing from shows I saw. They weren't as raw, energetic and motivated, by appearances, as I was hoping for...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Apr 24, 2014 6:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Old Question: When Did You Know?

It's kind of hard to parse what I/we really knew then from what we know in retrospect. I'm sure I heard their rawer 60s sound as different, but I'm sure I'd have attributed that difference to the 60s ... all 60s music had a certain feel, and certainly I thought I'd missed something by not having been 10 years older, but I didn't expect any band to sound like their 60s albums.

As for not-liveliness on stage, I quickly took that as a badge of pride. "MY band doesn't need any stage tricks. They just stand there and play. After tuning for 5 minutes and taking a smoke break."

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 25, 2014 5:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Old Question: When Did You Know?

Oh yeah--right there with you on the point of pride! Exactly what I thought when comparing them to the tours of the Stones or PF...props??! Really? You don't see CREAM using those, or even the descendants of CREAM.